The St. Pete Woman’s Half Marathon was November 21st in beautiful St. Pete, FL. It was my first time in St. Pete and it’s is SO CUTE. I wanted to back up my bags and move there, stat. Since that’s not gonna happen, I’ll just have to stick to running this race every year.
Paula and I decided to spend the night in St. Pete (opposed to leaving for the race @ 4am), so I kissed the kiddies goodbye (while profusely thanking my mother-in-law for watching them while the hubby worked) and picked her up (late – oops) and we were off. The ride there was uneventful, until we got lost looking for the hotel. Hello Dr. Martin Luther King Street. Luckily, we did a quick turn around and found it in time. We picked up our packet and swag in about 5 minutes – and then checked out the Expo. There was a lot a lot of cute stuff for sale, but because of my untimeliness we had about 15 minutes to shop around. Maybe this was a good thing? After we picked up our stuff, we hit up 400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse. We were bad and had a few beers. I had Tucher, Paula went for Shocktop. Good stuff. For dinner I ordered a few appetizers – Fish Tacos and Crab Cakes — and it was the perfect amount of food.
|P & me – blurry iPhone pic|
|Smart woman brought a sweater|
After dinner, we drove around for about 20 minutes to find a place for dessert. I was kinda disappointed I couldn’t find a cupcake or frozen yogurt place – but we settled for Chik-fil-a. Who doesn’t love Chik-fil-a?
The hotel we stayed at (La Quinta – we are HIGH CLASS people) was actually really nice. I definitely recommend it — and for a great price. We were about 15 minutes from the race start and as a bonus, we didn’t get lost (well, going to the race at least).
The next morning we got up at 5ish – and were in the car by 6:15. We found (free) parking right away and walked towards the start. Paula and I were in different corrals, but they didn’t seem to mind/or notice that she hoped in the same corral as me. We actually thought we were in her corral so oops.
|Gorgeous view – waiting to start|
|I’m such a nerd. Really need to work on poses.|
The race started off on time (yay!) and while it was faster than the Wine/Dine, there were still a lot of walkers up front. For realz people – if you are going to walk or jog slow, don’t get front!
Miles 1-5 went pretty quickly. I lost Paula and then I found her – and then around mile 5 I lost her for good. Miles 5-9 I got into a pretty good groove and just jammed out to my music. Miles 7-8 were pretty cool because we ran down the Pier and back. Nice Pier! Mile 10 is where things wonky. I definitely started slowing down. It didn’t help that mile 10-11 involved running through a parking lot. No love for the parking lot running! Really – they couldn’t have added mileage elsewhere? The payoff for running through a parking lot was that we also got to run through Tropicana Field (where the Tampa Bay Devil Rays play). That was fun and the astro turf felt so nice on my feet! Too bad we had to go back to running on the asphalt!
|Can’t you tell this is Tropicana Field?|
The last mile of the race I dedicated to my father-in-law who passed away, very suddenly, from Leukemia in August (bonus -the proceeds of this race went to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society). I think of him often, and while I ran this race for me – I also ran it with him in mind the whole way. He must have been looking out for me because I ran it at an 8:20 pace. That’s super fast for me!
Running through the finish was completely satisfying in a way that the Wine/Dine race was not. I felt like I had given it my all (no bathroom breaks!) and I was very proud of my time. The medal was super cute as well
|I have no idea what’s going on behind me. Gorgeous day though, right?|
After I finished, I chowed down. I’ve only run in 3 major races, but thus far this one was the best managed. Plus, they had the best after “party” – including little bags of apples. I had like 4 bags. Thank you Publix! They also offered fresh Publix cookies – definitely hard to pass up when you just burned 1500 (or so) calories.
In summary – The race was challenging, it was a little warm, but it was well managed and I will definitely be running this race again. See you in November St. Pete!